Work wil begin soon on the Lagos-Abidjan international highway and the Lagos-Badagry-Seme expressway following approvals yesterday by the Federal Executive Council (FEC)
Finance Minister Mrs. Zainab Ahmed announced the approval for Nigeria to receive $1.5 million loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the Lagos-Abidjan highway.
The fund is part of the $13.5 million approved by the AfDB in 2016 to finance the project, according to the minister.
She said: “Today (yesterday) the ministry of Finance went to council to obtain approval for a loan of $1.5 million from the AfDB to finance the multi-national Abidjan-Lagos corridor highway development project study.
”The multi-national project that is running from Abidjan-Lagos corridor will be a highway project that will be in six lanes, a dual carriageway highway that will involve five countries, including the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Federal Republic of Benin, Republic of Cote’d’Ivoire, Republic of Ghana and the Togolese Republic.
”At the 42nd Ordinary Session of Heads of State meeting of the ECOWAS countries in 2013, this project was discussed and approved, the AfDB in 2016 approved the sum of $13.5 million for the whole of the project to finance, both the study in the form of a loan as well as the grant.
”So, this $13.5 million has been distributed among the participating countries and the component for Nigeria is $1.5 million. The project study can be commissioned towards the planning of the execution of the highway project itself,” she stated.
The Minister of Power, Works & Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said his ministry presented a memorandum for the award of the Lagos-Badagry-Seme border road for rehabilitation and reconstruction.
He said: “It’s a total of 46 kilometres that excludes the part under contract by the Lagos State government from Eric Moore to Okokomaiko.
”Council approved 46 kilometres from Agbara to seme border. Out of that 46 kilometers, 24 kilometre will be six lanes and 22 kilometres will retain the current four lanes without expansion, but with reconstruction and rehabilitation. The contract price is N63.023 billion,” Fashola said.
He added: “Just for clarity, this road is part of the Lagos-Abidjan highway corridor. So, the Nigeria section is the Lagos-Eric Moore-Badagry-Seme border. We are constructing our part, Ghana has done theirs, and I think Ivory Coast has done theirs. Togo and Benin have something in place.
“Some of them have to move because of coastal erosion by the Atlantic and how to reintegrate all of that is part of the studies that are been funded by the AfDB and also how to ensure single and efficient border control,” he said.
He also said the FEC approved N1.029 billion for the 20-kilometre section of Gwarzo-Karaye highway in Kano State.
According to him, the Council also terminated and re-awarded the contract for the 10 Megawatts Katsina Wind Energy project.
He explained that the project, with 37 turbines, has 15 already completed, while 22 were at different stages of completion, adding that the completed turbines were already generating about four megawatts of electricity and being used by one of the power Distribution Companies (DisCos).
He noted that the main French contractor had not been cooperating with the government and therefore re-awarded the contract to the local contractor, who has been working on the project.
According to him, N121 million was approved for the re-award out of the money for the initial contact.
He said the project is scheduled for completion within five months.
The minister added: “Council also approved the African Trans-Sahara Highway project from Algiers to Lagos. The Nigerian section is the Lagos to Katsina border side, transversing Ibadan, Oyo, Ogbomoso, Ilorin, Katsina, Abuja and Kano, among others.
“If you look at what the President has done in the last few days, a committee on the African Free Trade Agreement protocols, these are the critical infrastructures that link us. So, from South to North, from Lagos through the West Coast, are the interconnections on how we relate with other African countries.”
The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said that Council approved the revised estimated total cost for the construction of Zobe Regional Water Supply Scheme in Katsina State, Phases I (a) and II, as part of efforts to complete infrastructures inherited by the Federal Government.
According to him, the project was first awarded in 1992 but bandoned with a new contractor taking over in 2009, but was never paid.
Adamu said that the Buhari administration inherited the project at 75 per cent completion in 2015, adding, “Council approved the augmentation of N12.15 billion to bring the project to a total of N22.1 billion with an additional completion period of 18 months.”
He disclosed that the Federal Government recently signed a N10 billion agreement with the Katsina State government for the completion of Phase I(b) of the project.